New Year's greetings January 4, 2018

Dear compatriots!

Respected fellow citizens!

The last clock of 2017 is running out. This year will remain in the history of the temporarily occupied Crimea and the Crimean Tatar people as a year of worthily passed experiences, the indestructibility of dozens of political prisoners - Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians; it will be remembered by the courage and unity of the Crimean Tatar people who closed their ranks more to resist the violence, repression and persecution that are brought to the Crimean land by Russian invaders.

In 2017, we all together tried to surround the attention and special care of children of political prisoners who was sent to prison by Russianinvaders. The Crimean Tatar people have never left and will not leave their compatriots in trouble who sacrifice their freedom and life for the sake of their nation’s future.

We also joined in mourning our loved ones, neighbors and friends in trouble that came to their homes. We pray to God and request him for forgiveness of the sins of the deceaseds and ask for his mercy for them.

We admired the determination and solidarity of our compatriots, who daily came to the courts of occupants to support political prisoners.

We felt a common joy by hearing about a creation of new families and a children birth. Let us wish peace and joy to each new Crimean Tatar family, and to all newborn children and their parents a long and happy life in their homeland Crimea that will be free from Russian invaders!

The foreign policy of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in 2017 was aimed at strengthening the international economic and legal pressure on Russia, which occupied the Crimea.

The National Leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa-aga Dzhemilev, the Chairman and members of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people realized dozens of foreign visits and meetings, participated in the sessions of the UN Security Council, PACE, PABSEC, OSCE PA, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, made speaches in session of Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and etc.

Representatives of the Crimean Tatar public and human rights organizations appeared as organizers and participants of series of side events, international conferences and symposiums.

The activity of organizations of the Crimean Tatar diaspora, united in the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars, has greatly increased.

Due to the efforts of the Ukrainian government based on international support, and as a result of the targeted activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Crimean Tatar diaspora organizations, Crimean Tatar public and human rights organizations, it is becoming inevitable obvious the de-occupation of Crimea and the Ukraine's territorial integrity in its internationally recognized borders, including the Autonomous Republic Crimea and city Sevastopol.

The interim decision of International Court of Justice based on the lawsuits of Ukraine, obliges the Russian occupation authorities to lift the ban on the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, to allow free entrance to the leaders and members of the Mejlis to the territory of Crimea, and also to prevent further actions aimed at restricting human rights.

The joy that the Crimean Tatars are expressing due to release of the deputies of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz, remains a bitter, realizing that dozens of Crimean Tatars are illegally deprived of their liberty in Crimea, and their families and relatives are enduring sufferings and hardships.

At the same time, the demonstration of real respect of the Ukrainian government in the history of the Crimean Tatar people became the memorial events held on December 2017 in Kyiv: the ceremonial meeting at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people; a commemorative coin in honor of the first Qurultay issued by the National Bank of Ukraine;the production and bringin into implementation the stamps and envelopes; organization of exhibitions and producing films. These all eventsbecame a notable phenomenon in the life of Ukrainian society.

The work started on May 2017, on preparing the amendments and additions to the Section X of the Constitution of Ukraine "Autonomous Republic of Crimea" came to an end. Members of the Working Group and experts prepared a draft amendment to the Constitution of Ukraine. In the near future this project is planned to be submitted for consideration by the Constitutional Commission, and then by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

We will do our best to make the Crimean Tatar people's realization of their right to self-determination on their historical territory become a reality in the forms corresponding to the expectations of the Crimean Tatar people - the indigenous people of Crimea and to the interests of the Ukrainian state, where Crimea is an integral part.

Dear compatriots!
Respected fellow citizens!

There will come a time when terrible home invasions and humiliating searches, illegal arrests and trials, persecutions of members of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and local Mejlis, activists of the national movement and Muslims who carefully follow the canons of Islam,implemented by the Russian invaders, will pass into history.

We will certainly embrace and unite again all together in Crimea.

But we should continue to preserve the dignity and unity and not allowing Russian occupiers to imitate the "development" of Crimea. In thiat regard, the participation in illegal elections conducted by Russian invaders in stolen Crimea is excluded in any form.

On March 18, 2018 - no Crimean Tatar or ethnic Ukrainian, no one sane person, regardless of his nationality, should appear at voting stations illegally opened in temporarily occupied by Russia – Crimea.

On behalf of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people I wish each of you and all of us the confidence, strength and will in the coming 2018 year!

May peace and harmony be preserved in every house and wealth be grown!

May the God protect all of us and point out the right way in the life!

Happy New 2018 Year!

Refat Chubarov,
Chairperson of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people,
Kyiv, December 31, 2017.

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